Winding down Bayers Mill Road in my friend’s van, I voiced the question: “Do you think many people in this area know that some of Nova Scotia’s best rock climbing is in their own backyards?”
We were on our way to a crag (literally meaning a steep or rugged rock face) just off of the Musquodoboit Trailway known in the climbing community as G[ood]-Spot—one of the more recent crags to be developed in the area, first climbed back in 2009.
The most recent crag in the area was put up just this year, a short hike from the end of Rookery Way, dubbed The Castle. There are also two classic crags on Paces Lake, Mainface and Firstface, which have been in development since the late 1970’s and still to this day see new projects every spring.
If you’re interested in getting into the sport of rock climbing, a good place to start would be at one of the two public gyms in the Province: Seven Bays Bouldering in Halifax or Ground Zero in Dartmouth. Bouldering at Seven Bays is an offshoot of rock climbing where no ropes are used, but there are mats under the climbing area and the wall isn’t very high. This type of climbing focuses on executing difficult and powerful movements.
Climbing at Ground Zero focuses on top rope climbing, though they have a small bouldering wall as well. Top rope climbing helps with endurance and overcoming the fear of heights. The difficulty of climbing on top rope is generally lower than that of bouldering.
With the sport’s induction into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, climbing will become an increasingly popular activity.